17 December 2021
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) urges caution over the Federal Government’s proposal to move ahead with an Indigenous Voice that is inconsistent with the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The proposal will create confusion and division within community, and again governments set down what they think is best for Aboriginal people by creating structures that divide and conquer.
This follows news that the Federal Government plans to unveil a proposal to create three levels of regional interim advisory bodies to be appointed by governments in the first half of 2022.
The NSWALC Chairperson Danny Chapman says introducing a Voice to Parliament not enshrined in the Constitution is not what the NSWALC has consistently called for.
“The NSWALC remains firm that a Constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission in the spirit of the Uluru Statement, is the best step forward for this country.
We already have many regional and local voices for our peoples through our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations including Aboriginal Land Councils.
Given there are already regional and local voices, the main issue is that governments need to listen, respond and genuinely work with our peoples to address the issues we have said are important to us.” he said.
The National Agreement on Closing the Gap commits governments to shared decision making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In New South Wales, the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (NSW CAPO) and the NSW Government have developed a series of proposals relating to implementing Priority Reform One on shared decision-making.
We want these to be progressed as a matter of urgency in NSW.
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The NSWALC is an active member of the NSW CAPO. The NSW CAPO is also a member of the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Peak Organisations (Coalition of Aboriginal Peaks), that come together as an act of self-determination to work with Australian governments on Closing the Gap.